In the aftermath of the missed pass interference call in Sunday's NFC Championship Game which ultimately cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, fans filed two separate lawsuits against the NFL on Tuesday, claiming the league's failure to enforce its own rules caused harm and defrauded ticket holders.
Unfortunately for grieving Saints' fans, the results of the lawsuits will likely offer no solace, according to Sports Illustrated's legal analyst Michael McCann. The Los Angeles Rams will still play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.
Another Saints ticket-holder filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon, claiming the NFL defrauded him and other fans by failing to enforce its own rules.
The NFL rule book has unique grounds for Commissioner Roger Goodell to change the outcome of the game or restart the game from the point of the missed call. Rule 17 of the Official Playing Rules of the NFL grants the commissioner the authority to take corrective action if an "extraordinary unfair act" occurs. As McCann notes, on the surface, Rule 17 sounds great for Saints fans looking for redemption -- but there's more. The rule goes on to say that the commissioner "will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints stand as completed."
The idea of restarting games is not new in professional sports. Major League Baseball restarts games impacted by rain if 4.5 innings are not completed.
The lawsuits filed by Saints fans on Tuesday claim the NFL breached its contractual duty to its ticket holders citing the mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the loss. The game ticket is a contract between the league and fans, but it does not guarantee the outcome of the game or that bad calls will be avoided rendering the lawsuits essentially punchless, McCann writes.
Logistical concerns such as the reentry of ticket holders into Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the television broadcast also prevent a Rams-Saints do-over.
In addition, a potential decision to intervene by Goodell would create a remarkable precedent for commissioner oversight, according to McCann. Bad officiating happens in football, and Goodell would have to intervene in every football game affecting by bad calls or face criticism of bias against certain teams.
Stuck between anger and depression over Sunday's debacle in the Dome, a few dyspeptic New Orleans Saints fans have settled into an equally pre…